Chicago’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Speeches Marked by Camaraderie and Humor
As with most gatherings of old friends, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider and Danny Seraphine ended up sharing memories that sometimes got off track, sometimes went long, sometimes turned sentimental, and sometimes got a little risque.
"This is not something you can do by yourself," Lamm said, as Chicago was honored at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "In this case, Walt, Danny, Lee, James, [late guitarist] Terry [Kath] – my brothers in the band, I would not be standing here without them." He also paid tribute to the band's current working unit, and original bassist Peter Cetera – who declined to attend. "All of these guys have taught me so much about music, and about living."
Seraphine, gone from Chicago since 1990, offered a funny, sometimes-profane speech centered on the band's early years – including an infamous incident in which Cetera got his jaw broken for wearing his hair too long. Referring to them as a "band of brothers" and a "bad-ass band," Seraphine said a sense of determination and companionship helped Chicago to this long-awaited honor. "We lived together, as most bands do, we cried together, we fought together, we f---ed together," he said, before pausing for effect. "Did I really say that?"
Seraphine joined other legacy members in mentioning original producer James William Guercio, and in paying tribute to the sadly departed Kath, as well. "I miss him every day," Seraphine said. (Kath was represented by his daughter Michelle.) Asked to wrap it up by a member of the production personnel, the ever-quotable Seraphine then replied, "Screw you."
Loughnane, who forms Chicago's energetic horn section with Pankow and Parazaider, had one of the evening's other memorable quips. "Lastly, I'd like to thank my ex-wives," he said, "for making sure that I have to keep working. Thank God. I love it!" He and his bandmates also took time to thank fans who made Chicago this year's top fan vote getter on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot.
"It feels pretty damned good, I have to tell you," a still-amazed-sounding Parazaider said. "To the fans ... We're not going anywhere. We're going to keep going."
The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on April 30.
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